Urgent Leeds Teaching Hospital protest 6th June, 1pm, Brotherton Wing

Please do all you can to support and encourage everyone you know to come if they can.

As most of you will know , Leeds Teaching Hospitals have put together a proposal to move 2,300 staff out of the NHS into a subsidiary company, largely to capitalise on VAT savings but also to open up more “ business” opportunities.

Staff are deeply upset about being “kicked out” of the NHS and who knows who might be next ! Similar plans are being pursued by cash strapped, hospitals up and down the country although few are anywhere near as large as Leeds. This is the thin edge of the wedge in terms of breaking up the NHS and fast tracking privatisation.

Unison are balloting porters, domestic, facilities, estates and clinical engineering staff for industrial action and have called this “100% NHS” demonstration to show their members that there is public support for their campaign, attract media coverage and keep the issue in the public eye.

This is a critical time to demonstrate massive opposition, as Leeds Teaching Hospital Board has not yet agreed a final plan. In Harrogate outrage was high but opposition too late. Now we have a chance to stop the Leeds plan and give encouragement to NHS staff and campaigners up and down the country.

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Don’t reward loyal Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust staff by throwing them out of the NHS

Letter toYorkshire Evening Post

Dear Editor,

LTHT: Don’t reward loyal staff by throwing them out of the NHS!

Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust (LTHT) proposal to set up a Wholly Owned Subsidiary (WOS) by transferring 2,300 of its 17,000 employees out of the NHS, caused widespread concern among staff and attracted negative comment from MPs. The trust claimed this move was essential for achieving long-term financial sustainability and to support patient care. Detractor’s pointed out that giving autonomy to health care providers to generate and spend money in this way meets the World Health Organisation definition of privatisation. Business cases from WOS elsewhere indicate that around 90% of savings come from alteration in tax treatment, effectively depriving the Treasury of income that might be used to fund public services.
At the LTHT Board meeting on 29th March, it was agreed to defer the decision to establish a WOS in order to allow full discussion with LTHT staff and representatives, including a review of alternative models. Since then very little further has been heard, while trade union branches have voted to ballot on strike action. July this year is the 70th anniversary of the NHS, and the Board should reflect on the fact that it would be unfair to staff who take pride in their work to find themselves shunted into a WOS against their wishes. Promises to maintain terms and conditions simply cannot be guaranteed, and while appointing new staff on different terms might save money, it creates a two tier workforce that will undermine team working. Furthermore, the WOS will add a new management interface and increase operating costs.
WOS are likely to accelerate the breaking up of the NHS and are also a possible channel for selling off “surplus” NHS land and buildings under the recommendations of the Naylor Report. We urge the trust Board to resist being pushed down this route, and to listen and respond to the views of staff and their trade unions. We also ask the public to make their views known to the trust via its website. This is not the way to empower staff or to fund the NHS.

Yours faithfully,

Dr John WL Puntis, on behalf of Leeds Keep Our NHS Public

How you can get involved in May

Vote only for councillors who are committed and act locally towards a publicly funded, publicly delivered and publicly accountable NHS

Also:

  • to support staff resisting being moved out of LTHT into a Wholly Owned Company
  • getting out and about to local centres in Leeds discussing what is happening to our health service on the ground and why new models of care, ACOs etc must be resisted.

There are also several marches you might like to join.

Sat. May 5th Leeds May Day march &rally- assemble at 11.30 outside Leeds Art Gallery ( look for the Keep Our NHS Public banner and flags)

May 12th TUC demo in London ‘ Step up for Public Services ‘. Unite are offering free coach places to members and family but have just opened up bookings to non members for £5. Book on https://goo.gl/forms/zcHotRCYfx43tnHK2 but places will go very fast! March assembles at Victoria Embankment 11am. Sets off at 12. Corbyn speaking at rally in Hyde Park. Ends 4pm

Tuesday May 15th 7.30 am – 8.30 first anti WOS support action with flier outside Jubilee Wing LGI. With more to follow that fortnight at LGI and St. James

Sat May 19th KONP stall in Pudsey 10.45 on the High Street near the market

Sun. May 20th “Banners Held High” march & festival at Wakefield . Assemble outside Wakefield Cathedral for march with all the old pit banners, KONP et al . McDonnell addressing rally

Watch a 10min presentation by Graham Winyard ( one of the parties to Alysson Pollock’s Judicial review ) at a Kings Fund meeting

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/events/integrated-care-future

How to get involved and fight for our NHS – key dates this month

Next Sunday 8th April ( 5-6pm in Friends Meeting House 188 Woodhouse Lane, LS29DX) Frances Bernstein is holding a singing practice for anyone who wants to join the flashmob choir she is pulling together for the demonstration. on 14th April. The choir will be singing to welcome people into Victoria Gardens from 11am and probably all along the route. The Friends Meeting House is on the corner of Woodhouse Lame and St. Mark’s St, near the Eldon Pub. Many thanks to Frances for organising this.

On Saturday 7th April, some of us will be taking Leeds KONP banner to York, assembling at the South Porch of York Minster 10.30-11am to join the march organised by York Labour Party with support from our fellow campaigners in Defend Our NHS York. Rally 12-12.30 in St. Helen’s Square.

Wednesday 11th April 6.30 -8.30th we will have a slightly shorter meeting of Leeds Keep our NHS Public followed by an hour of placard writing with live musical accompaniment from some of our talented musicians and maybe a few songs. All will be merry and fruitful! Foam board and pens provided.

NB we have also reserved the side room in The Victoria Hotel , behind the Town Hall from 2pm on Sat.14th for marchers to rest, rejoice, socialise and plot!!